The bustling US State of New York may be better known as a busy, urban tourist destination full of historical sites, landmark monuments and streets lined up with shops and restaurants. But, the New York State also boasts of sprawling national and state parks, which attract nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Read on to know more about some of the best state parks in New York State, where you can take in a breath of fresh air away from the urban jungle!
Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is a great destination for the ones who love exploring the outdoors. The park, which is located in Castile, sprawls across a vast 14,350 acres. The destination is not called the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ for nothing – the magnificent Genesee River flows through it; it has gorges more than 600 feet in height; it is blessed with three gigantic waterfalls; and is surrounded by lush forests. This scenic park is a great place to indulge in recreational sports all year-round including hiking, horseback riding, tubing, biking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.
Niagara Falls State Park
Enjoy breathtaking views of the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and some part of the Canadian or the Horseshoe Falls with a visit to the Niagara Falls State Park. The park is located in the City of Niagara Falls in Niagara County, New York. Enjoy scenic views of nature all round the year, indulge in thrilling activities, see interactive exhibits and take a breath of fresh air as you explore its winding hiking trails. The family-friendly park has all the ingredients of a great tourist destination – fantastic dining options, wildlife spotting activities, remarkable attractions and lush greenery. After soaking in the scenic views, head to the indoor attractions of the Niagara Gorge Discovery Centre, Niagara Adventure Theatre and Aquarium of Niagara.
Sandy Island Beach State Park
Sandy Island Beach State Park is located on the eastern side of Lake Ontario. It is a New York State Park whose highlight is a long natural sandy beach. The park houses some of the finest beaches on the entire lake and is a fine wildlife habitat. Apart from being a cool place for beach bums, the park offers lake swimming areas with lifeguards. The state park is well-equipped with other facilities as well including changing rooms, restrooms and a concession stand. Travellers can relax and enjoy light snacks at the several picnic areas in the park or enjoy fishing and bird watching.
Chimney Bluffs State Park
Nature lovers and photographers must visit the Chimney Bluffs State Park, which is located at Huron in Wayne County, to discover its spectacular scenic natural beauty. The park features well-maintained hiking trails and many vantage points from where you can view its several large clay formations. Apart from the hiking trails, the park also features heated restrooms, several picnic areas with grills and facilitates many engaging winter activities including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
Taughannock Falls State Park
Enjoy the beauty of the spectacular 215-foot waterfall, the Taughannock Falls, with a visit to the Taughannock Falls State Park. The park is located at Ulysses in Tompkins County, New York and is a sprawling 750-acre lush area. The single drop plunge waterfall Taughannock Falls is the highlight of a trip to this park. The park can be visited all-round-the-year as the waterfall is spectacular to view in any season. Hikers can explore the 4 winding trails that pass along the Taughannock Creek while camping enthusiasts can enjoy camping/cabins on Cayuga Lake. Swimming is allowed in the scenic lake of the park, which also consists of a natural skating pond.
Chenango Valley State Park
The Chenango Valley State Park is one of the most popular state parks with campers. The park is located in Broome County in New York, adjacent to the roaring Chenango River. The park is a golfer’s paradise as it boasts of an 18-hole Chenango Valley State Park Golf Course. The park houses two kettle lakes, where birdwatchers can easily spot woodpeckers, nut hatches, warblers and thrushes. The park’s birdlife also include herons, ducks and kingfishers, spottable around the lakeside. Equipped with 184 campsites and 24 cabins, it is a good place to enjoy camping.